Fall 2023

Momona Yamagami

Momona Yamagami

Assistant Professor
Rice University


Friday, 09/29/23 at 12:30 PM - 1:00 PM (Central)


Personalized Biosignal Interfaces for Accessibility

Watch the Video


Biosignal interfaces that use electromyography sensors, accelerometers, and other biosensors as device inputs hold promise to improve accessibility for people with disabilities. However, generalized models that are not personalized to each individual’s physical characteristics, such as their physical ability, wrist circumference, and skin tone, may not perform well. Individualized interfaces that are personalized to the individual and their abilities could significantly enhance accessibility and usability of biosignal interfaces.

In this talk, I discuss how continuous (i.e., 2-dimensional trajectory-tracking) and discrete (i.e., gesture) electromyography (EMG) interfaces can be personalized to the individual. For the continuous task, we used methods from game theory to iteratively optimize a linear model that mapped EMG input to cursor position with 7 participants without disabilities. We found that the participants quickly co-adapted to achieve high tracking performance. For the discrete task, we performed template-matching to map personalized gestures to specific device functions with participants with upper-body motor disabilities. Our participants had a wide variety of gestures that they performed that matched their abilities. We achieved over 85% classification accuracy with just 3 templates for 10 device functions. As biosignal interfaces become more commonly available, it is important to ensure that such interfaces have high performance across a wide spectrum of users and abilities.


Dr. Yamagami is an Assistant Professor at Rice University in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department. Her research focuses on designing personalized human-machine interfaces for health and accessibility. She is interested in leveraging biosignals measured from sensors in, on, or around the body to develop closed-loop human-machine systems that are personalized to each user’s physical characteristics, with a focus on people with movement disabilities and/or chronic conditions.

Dr. Yamagami received her B.S. (2016) in Bioengineering from Rice University. She received her M.S. (2019) and Ph.D. (2022) in Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington, Seattle under the supervision of Profs. Samuel Burden and Katherine Steele. Then, she was a UW CREATE postdoctoral scholar at the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, Seattle with Prof. Jennifer Mankoff. She joined Rice University in 2023 as part of the Digital Health Initiative.